Life finds a way. And so it was with the third Jurassic Park sequel after a decade of development hell.
Jurassic World’s big spectacle is the new, fully operational park, and we get to see it right at the beginning. This is the reason to see the direct sequel set 22 years after the original. It feels real, the scale of the park surges past John Hammond’s original vision, and it’s very nostalgic. For a lot of fans, it would be very easy to settle for two hours simply navigating through all the tours, especially given that the plot was fully given away in the trailers and isn’t nearly as imaginative as the first Jurassic Park.
The park’s attendance slumps 10 years after its opening and a dinosaur spliced with genes of T-Rex, Velociraptor, and Cuttlefish is made to reel tourists back in. Guests new to the park include the nephews of the park manager, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard). The two boys, Gray and Zach Mitchell (Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson), intend on bonding with their aunt, but the visit coincides with disaster as the hybrid dinosaur, coined the Indominus Rex, outsmarts security measures and commences a massacre on the island. Chris Pratt plays Owen Grady, a velociraptor expert and trainer. His unique relationship with the dinos leads to him chasing the Indominus Rex on a motorbike with a pack of raptors. Overall, the plot isn’t inspiring and feels typical of a monster movie, but the setting on Isla Nublar and the resurrection of the park were superior creative decisions than its co-sequels.
Characters are a focus in the Jurassic World story, and Trevorrow takes advantage of the stately pace to introduce the audience to all the leads and their relationships before the action kicks in. It’s clear that Trevorrow wanted to create an arc for every main character, but only Claire and Zach exhibit any development over the story. However, tying Jurassic Park veteran and chief geneticist Henry Wu (B. D. Wong) into the sequel was excellent. He inherited the thematic cavalier attitude to playing God, and I wish he had more responsibility in carrying the main plot. Unfortunately, he drifted into a strange sub-plot where he conspired with head of InGen’s security, Vick Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio), to create the Indominus Rex as a catalyst for militarising dinosaurs. Hoskins was laboured, overplayed and, despite being pivotal to the plot, is probably going to agitate the audience more than engage.
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But what does characterisation count for in a dinosaur movie? Jurassic World gives us the best CGI and effects Hollywood offers. Trevorrow was heavy handed with the CGI—most of the dinosaurs and the backdrops use it. It’s what we expect in 2015, and Jurassic World is much more convincing because of it. Trevorrow also serves purists and critics of CGI with close ups of the traditional animatronics used in Jurassic Park, albeit briefly. Overall, the dinos look superb.
I recommend everyone sees this film. For the segment of film-goers who have no affection for Jurassic Park, you’re still in for a very high quality monster movie, and you will be entertained. For the remaining 99 per cent of filmgoers, you can expect another dose of the excitement you were first served 22 years ago, but you will probably find something wrong with the film. Jurassic World’s burden is the legacy it has to live up to, exacerbated by the hype, and everyone has a different expectation of what the film should be. My advice is to relax your expectations and be simply be excited to be in the Jurassic universe again. If you need another reason to see this film, go for Chris Pratt’s sweet new body, and you’ll probably be in the gym tomorrow.